Statewide Iowa — Federal office holders from Iowa and their General Election challengers are raising questions about the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks established by the federal government in 1916 to help farmers. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he supports the system, but it has operated outside its charter.
Former Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge is the Democrat who’s challenging Grassley this year.
Republican Congressman Steve King says the Farm Credit System needs to refocus on helping farmers and agribusinesses “stay afloat.”
Kim Weaver, a social worker from Sheldon, is the Democrat who’s challenging King. Weaver says she’s troubled by the Farm Credit System’s loan to Cracker Barrel.
The candidates made their comments Thursday afternoon during a meeting of the Community Bankers of Iowa.
The 80 Farm Credit banks do not have to pay taxes on mortgage loan interest and other banks are lobbying congress to end that tax break. Supporters of the system say it’s a crucial source of financing for all of rural America, not just farmers.